Arab summit opens in Riyadh

The 19th Arab Summit, the annual gathering of the Arab League members, opened amid high expectations among the Arab people for their leaders to find solutions to problems and conflicts.

Arab summit opens in Riyadh

The 19th Arab Summit, the annual gathering of the Arab League members,opened here today amid high expectations among the Arab people for theirleaders to find solutions to problems and conflicts besetting them, someunresolved for decades.

The two-day summit is being held at a time when old and protracted problemshave yet to be solved such as the Israel-Palestine conflict which has been onthe Arab League agenda since 1945, the year it was formed in Cairo.

And not forgetting new problems such as the ongoing political crisis in Lebanon and the Darfur conflict in Sudan wherecertain Western countries are trying to take advantage of the situation.

The bloody sectarian violence and instability in Iraqafter the US-led occupation and the tensions surrounding the Middle Eastrelated to Iran'snuclear enrichment programme are also of grave concern to the Islamic world.

Also on the agenda is the Somaliaconflict.

The internationally-recognised transitional government of Sudanese PresidentAbdullahi Yusuf Ahmed is now battling Islamic militants who moved in to capitalMogadishu latelast year with the support of Ethiopian forces.

Given the scenario, the summit comes at a difficult time, with full ofchallenges for the Arab world.

The Arab people are hoping the summit would be able to realise theiraspirations for peace, security and stability.

And for the Arab League, being one of the world's oldest organisations, itwould not be that easy to solve all the conflicts and problems at hand, giventhe deep divisions among member states.

In the case of faction-ridden Lebanese government, the leaders are here withtwo rival delegations. One led by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and the other byPresident Emile Lahoud and they are expected to come up with differentsolutions to solve the Lebanonpolitical crisis.

Topping the agenda is efforts to revive the Arab Peace Plan, mooted exactlyfive years ago by Saudi Arabiaat the Beirut Arab League Summit, which offers peace with Israel in returnfor withdrawal from the occupied territories.

The plan, among others, calls for full Israeli withdrawal from all theterritories occupied since the 1967 War, return of Palestinian refugees andestablishing a sovereign Palestinestate.

In return, Arab countries will enter into a peace agreement with Israel andestablish normal relations with the Jewish state.

Malaysiahad expressed support when the plan was mooted in 2002.

Saudi FM Prince Saud Al-Faisal had said there would be no amendments to thepeace plan. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is attending the summit at theKing Abdul Aziz International Conference Centre here in his capacity aschairman of the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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